Sugar and Spice and Every Thing Nice

 

In a quiet, unassuming building, set back from the road on Burlington Avenue, lies a haven of baked goods, sandwiches and donuts that will capture the heart and tastebuds of any sugar aficionado–Judi’ Bakery. For 35 years, Judi White and her team have been captivating pastry lovers with a huge variety of baked goods, lunch fare and cakes for special occasions from baptisms to weddings and everything in between.

For the sake of full disclosure, I must admit, I have a soft spot for Judi’s Bakery. They made my wedding cake, nearly five years ago now. It was a three-layer vanilla cake with lemon curd, covered in a lemon yellow buttercream with white flowers doodled across its sides. Topped with a lemon and an orange instead of a traditional cake topper, it was exactly the kind of whimsical confection that capture what my husband and I were going for on that special day.

It wasn’t until recently though, that I thought of Judi’s again, as I passed it during a busy workday. The small shop is an oasis of calm during the busy lunch hour with a full range of lunch options, including cold sandwiches, paninis, soup, salad and even boxed lunches for ordering out.

I met a group of colleagues there recently and was pleasantly surprised with the variety and value for the lunch our. Judi’s is open at 6 a.m. with a full array of donuts for the busy commuter, including sugar yeast and cake donuts, in addition to the standard glazed. They also offer apple fritters, long johns, cream horns, jelly donuts and bismarks, so no one should go to work un-carbed. They are open until 3 p.m. for the lunch time crowd. The menu includes a daily special for $5, and includes a menu item, bag of chips and a cookie. All regular menu sandwiches include chips and a cookie as well. Even salads will net you a cookie here and they are really not to be missed.

I chose the special of the day, a smoked turkey panini with spinach and spicy chipotle mayo. The bread was soft and crunchy in turns, with lots of flavor packed between the thin slices. While not overly large, it was the perfect amount when combined with a bag of Sun Chips and a soft chocolate chip cookie.

My coworker enjoyed the Berry Delightful, a cold turkey sandwich on the housemade cranberry nut bread with veggies and herbed cream cheese. It combined the sweet and savory qualities of any good post-Thanksgiving sandwich without the cooking and cleanup time. Another coworker that was abstaining from sugar order the salad and was quite satisfied with the resulting plate, replete with fresh vegetables, soft pita bread and a tangy dressing.

But let’s get real here: Do we go to a bakery for the salad? No. We go for the carbs and Judi’s does the carbs right. I took home several cookies options from a beautiful case of goodies in the ramp up to the Easter holiday. I’m a sucker for good sugar cookies and there’s nothing more disappointing than biting into a beautiful chick or bunny shaped holiday cookie only to find that it tastes like cardboard. Not a problem here. The iced sugar cookies were perfectly soft, not too tooth-achingly sweet and large enough that one satisfied but two wouldn’t kill you.

I also took a turtle brownie home for the hubby. The thick slab of chocolate was cakey and decadent, dotted with toffee bits and nuts. It was big enough to share and sweet enough that you needed to. There were so many other options that I wanted to try that I may have to start and exercise regime just to offset the baked goods.

Judi’s embodies the quaint small town bakery ideal that so many places lack these days. From her beautiful cakes to her perfectly turned out sugar cookies, quality is key and their friendly service is icing on the cake, so to speak.